Business, Entertainment, Free News Articles, Latino Interests, Product Launches, Television, Travel and Tourism

Groundbreaking New Public Television Series Features Afro-Latino Cultures Through the Lens of Travel

NEW YORK, N.Y. -- Haas Media LLC announces Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, a new travel series on public television, premiering with a two-part special featuring Costa Rica this September on Public Television Stations nationwide, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. The series honors and celebrates the historical and cultural contributions of Latin America's African descendants, hosted by tri-lingual, Black female traveler and executive producer, Kim Haas.

"We are introducing Public Television viewers to Afro-Latinos and their profound legacy in the Americas through history, culture, cuisine, art, dance, music, environmental conservation, literature, sports, and festivals," says Haas. "Afro-Latino Travels is about Black joy, pride and resilience despite centuries of oppression and under-representation. The series features Afro-Latinos that will inspire viewers with hope and optimism."

No other travel TV series showcases solely the Afro-Latino communities throughout Latin America and their rich and diverse legacy of creating vibrant cultures in the Americas. Their imprint greatly influences mainstream Latino culture from Andean Peru to tropical Cuba, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

"Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast was strongly influenced by the Jamaican inhabitants who arrived in the country over 400 years ago," says Costa Rica Tourism Minister Gustavo Segura. "Costa Rica is an extraordinary country. We recognize ourselves as a multi-ethnic and multicultural nation and the province of Limón is the most authentic reflection of that melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups. Here at the ICT, we are very proud of this and view Afro-Latino Travels as an opportunity to share our history with those who seek to learn about and visit our country."

Beginning in the 1500s and throughout The Middle Passage, millions of enslaved Africans were brought to Latin America through the 18th century. Researchers estimate at least 1 in 3 Latin Americans have African ancestry, and Africans and their descendants were involved in every aspect of Latin American society: colonialism, the fight for independence, the building of transportation and infrastructure (forts, railroads, etc.), and more.

"I've wanted to produce a series featuring the impact that the five centuries of African presence in Latin America has had for so long, and this two-part special is just the start of that journey," shares Haas. "This project has been in the works for years, but with the lack of diversity in travel media and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement more recently, now is the time to celebrate this heritage even more!"

Highlights from the two-part Afro-Latino Travels Costa Rica episodes include interviews with:
* Mr. Quince Duncan, celebrated Afro-Costa Rican author with 50 years of writing, credited with introducing Afro-Costa Rican in Costa Rican literature.
* Tarik Soto, gymnast and 2020 Olympic hopeful.
* Doris & Sasha Campbell, dancer and singer, respectively (sisters of Latin America's first black vice president, Ms. Epsy Campbell)

The Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas two-part special featuring Costa Rica will be available on Public Television Stations across the United States beginning Saturday, Sept. 12 through October. Check local listings for time and channel.

Underwriting for the television program has been provided in part by the Ford Foundation, and in-kind support provided by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute. Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas is presented by Northern California Public Media (KRCB) and distributed by NETA.

Further information available at:


Kim Haas, Executive Producer, Host & Creator of Afro-Latino Travels with Kim Haas, has been active in Afro-Latino issues for more than a decade and is founder of, a blog celebrating Afro-Latino culture. Kim speaks fluent Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. Kim is passionate about her work with "Afro-Latino Travels," and is extremely proud to be one of the few upcoming Black female travel hosts on public television, leading the path for more to follow!

VIDEO (Vimeo):

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*Caption: Kim Haas in Costa Rica.

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A tribute to an American Hero – Juan ‘Skip’ Torres

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Dr. Juan Manuel Torres of Pine Island, Fla. - a decorated Korean and Vietnam veteran - passed away last week at the age of 86-years-old after a courageous battle with cancer and pneumonia, the Family of Juan Manuel Torres announced. With his passing, America lost a true patriot and American hero who was one of the last surviving members of Task Force Smith from the Battle of Osan - America's first entry into the Korean conflict.

Dr. Torres, who was born in Arecibo, P.R. and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., joined the U.S. Army in 1949 at the young age of fifteen by "revising" his birth certificate. He was immediately deployed to Korea where he was assigned to the 21st Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division and placed directly into combat against aggressing North Korean and Chinese troops. Outnumbered five to one, his unit suffered heavy casualties. In another battle in Korea, he was captured and beaten, but later escaped while being marched to a prisoner detention facility. After Dr. Torres' squad leader was killed, he was given a field promotion to Corporal. While in a foxhole during one battle in Korea, his buddies affectionately called him "Skip," which is a name he kept for the rest of his life.

Skip was discharged and returned from Korea to New York after the Army discovered he was only 16-years-old. He was later allowed to enlist in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Policeman (now called USAF Security Forces) where he spent the next 20-plus years, including a one-year tour in Vietnam during the height of the conflict. While in Vietnam, he was promoted to Technical Sergeant (TSgt) where he led the USAF Security Forces at Bien Hoa Air Base and protected U.S. jet fighters and bombers during the "Tet Offensive" when 100,000 Viet Cong attacked U.S. personnel and facilities, including the air base at Bien Hoa. TSgt Torres was injured during the battle while extracting U.S. troops from a burning Armored Personnel Carrier (APC), but declined any awards saying: "It was just my duty." Skip received the Purple Heart medal for injuries he sustained from gunshot and shrapnel wounds while in combat against the North Koreans and Chinese. He was also awarded numerous additional U.S. Army and Air Force distinctions, such as the Combat Infantryman's Badge (CIB) and the U.S. Air Force Commendation Medal.

After retiring from the U.S. armed forces, Skip was recruited by the U.S. Marshals Service as a Deputy U.S. Marshal and was later promoted to Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal where he led key task forces against drug cartels and mafias in the southeast and northeast regions of the United States. He was once again injured during a standoff between U.S. Marshals and armed mafia assailants.

After retiring from the U.S. Marshals Service, Skip earned a PhD in theology and became an ordained minister where he faithfully served his community for the remainder of his life. He personally delivered meals to feed the homeless on a weekly basis throughout central and south Florida and donated most of his U.S. military and government retirement pay to charitable organizations worldwide.

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Bitcoin Scam is Targeting Hispanic Communities in Maryland

BALTIMORE, Md. -- AARP Maryland is warning of a new scheme targeting Maryland's Hispanic/Latino communities. A fraudulent Bitcoin website is targeting and enticing new investors with the false hope of financial gain, combined with threats to report those with undocumented status.

"This week, the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline received four reports that a fraudulent Bitcoin scheme is targeting a list of Spanish speaking people, many of whom are connected to each other through a religious or social group," said AARP State President Hank Greenberg. "Once contacted, the victims were misled to believe that their money would be invested in Bitcoin and that they would be able to conveniently track their growing returns on the web every day."

Greenberg continued that the scammers convinced the victims that Bitcoin itself was a regulated currency so that they would be more confident in their investment. "The opportunity to track continuing and increasing investment returns enticed some to invest even more of their hard-earned dollars."

Subsequently, the victims told the Fraud Watch Network, the scammers threatened to report their targets to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding their undocumented status, if they attempted to back out of the investment. Although the victims in the four reported cases are documented, they raised concern about how many people have continued to invest out of fear of deportation.

AARP Maryland and the AARP Fraud Watch Network warn that there might be hundreds of people entrapped by this scam and the number may be growing in a Ponzi-type arrangement that incentivizes people to recruit additional investors.

"Every year, thousands of Americans are affected by fraud and scams," said Greenberg. "But help is available. Sign up for biweekly Watchdog Alerts at to have news on the latest scams delivered right to your inbox. And, please report any scams you come across to the AARP Fraud Watch Network toll-free at 877-908-3360. Translators are available to assist."

Learn more about AARP Maryland at:

Nancy Carr

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Mateo Blanco: American dreamer turned successful American tenor

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Mateo Blanco, an accomplished musician and celebrated visual artist, is re-releasing his debut album "Mateo Blanco 724," in honor of its 10th anniversary.

Blanco made history upon the release of this album by becoming the first American tenor to record a multi-genre record. Blanco chose to highlight his Colombian heritage by recording the album in Spanish. The multi-genre style ranges from salsa to vallenato, reflecting the worldly travels he experienced throughout his upbringing. A true artist, Blanco finds inspiration in everything around him, including the name for his album. "Mateo Blanco 724" was inspired by the time he finished recording the last song.

"The purpose behind my album is to inspire people to follow their dreams, believe in love and to spread positivity," said Blanco. "Music is a vehicle for emotions, so it was important for me to have fellow dreamers collaborate on the record. I personally interviewed every musician who worked on my album to ensure they not only have a happy personality, but true goodness in their soul."

A classically trained opera singer, Blanco studied commercial music at Florida Atlantic University. He has performed operas such as in La Traviata, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and Don Giovanni. A man of extraordinary talent, Blanco has also made presentations accompanied by Aretha Franklin and his interpretation before the president of the United States, George H.W. Bush.

In recent years, Blanco has channeled his creative energy into his visual art. Known around the world for his use of unconventional mediums and edible materials, his whimsy is present in everything he makes. Noteworthy projects include portraits of Jennifer Lawrence in peanuts, Dolly Parton recreated in pieces of cloth and string, and Elsa from Disney's "Frozen" in sugar crystals. His work can be found in Ripley's Believe It or Not! museums, as well as in museums and private collections around the world.

Mateo Blanco's re-released "Mateo Blanco 724" can be found on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Google Play and Amazon Music. To view his art and other projects, visit Instagram @MateoBlancoArt

Find the album on iTunes at:

About Mateo Blanco

Mateo Blanco stands out for using unusual materials to create works of art, which have captured the attention of Ripley's Believe It or Not! His art is sold at ArtSpace Virginia Miller Galleries in Coral Gables, Rosenbaum Contemporary in Boca Raton, Jane's Art Center in New Smyrna Beach and some pieces have been displayed at Disney Springs and Aloft Hotel in downtown Orlando. Blanco was born in Miami in September 1981. Blanco is also a talented opera singer. He sang a birthday celebration for President George H.W. Bush.

For more information or inquiries, visit his Instagram @mateoblancoart -

Follow on Twitter: @MateoBlancoArt

*PHOTO link for media:
*Caption: Mateo Blanco. Photo by Maddy Ouellette.

William Wellons
Wellons Communications
Office: 407-339-0879

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Autos Latinos launches first-of-its-kind interactive car shopping website targeted specifically toward Latino and Hispanic consumers

MURRIETA, Calif. -- Autos Latinos has officially launched their service and new website, - a car shopping website that caters specifically to Latino and Hispanic car buyers in Southern California.

The market of Latino/Hispanic car buyers in California has undergone exponential growth over the past decade and consumers within these demographics now comprise a very lucrative market for the auto industry to target. 79% of these Latino/Hispanic car buyers are more likely to trust auto advertisements that are in Spanish and reflect Hispanic culture in some way.

There remains a deficit in online car-buying tools that are targeted toward Latino/Hispanic consumers and offer information and services in Spanish. Autos Latinos strives to fill that gap in the auto market and make the car-buying process more accessible and comfortable for Latino/Hispanic consumers with is published entirely in Spanish.

Autos Latinos encourages consumers to think of their now-live car shopping website as "a search engine for car shopping," guides consumers through comprehensive online inventories of new and used cars that are available in their area and has partnered with several car dealerships throughout Southern California in order to be able to provide the most accurate and up-to-date listings on their website. makes the car-buying process even easier for Latino/Hispanic consumers with their messaging tool that allows consumers to ask questions, have them answered in real time, and even reserve a test drive of a specific car at a local dealership-all in Spanish.

Autos Latinos also designs Partner Facebook pages for businesses in the auto industry to help these businesses engage Latino and Hispanic consumers, generate more leads from these consumers, earn their trust, and build lasting professional relationships with them.

Autos Latinos is proud to be serving the Latino and Hispanic communities throughout Southern California. is now live, and Autos Latinos will continue to expand with a mobile app that is slated to become available for download in the Apple and Google app stores within the next couple of weeks.

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8th Entrepreneur Summit to Feature Successful Business Owners and Experts

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Returning for its eighth year, Hispanic Unity of Florida's 2019 Entrepreneur Summit ( is a day-long learning and networking event showcasing the diverse array of businesses that contribute to South Florida's economy.

This year's event will be held on Friday, September 20 at Nova Southeastern University in the Carl DeSantis Building from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m., followed by workshops throughout the day and an exhibitor area. The event features a much requested Master Class in the Art of Networking with Networking Guru, Heiko Dobrikow at 9:15 a.m.

The Keynote Address and American Dreamer Awards & Panel Discussion will be held at 10:45 a.m. with Keynote Speaker, Jim Ryan, Founder and CEO of OutPLEX ( and Co-Founder, The Venture Mentoring Team.

Expected to draw between 300 and 400 attendees, the E-Summit provides emerging entrepreneurs and established business owners an opportunity to connect with other business owners and professionals interested in similar topics, learn from subject matter experts how to start and grow their businesses, and receive insights and best strategies for success.

Attendees include a mix of entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, economic development specialists, representatives from government agencies, small business experts, procurement officers, educational institutions, media and corporate partners, and others interested in entrepreneurship. The 8th Entrepreneur Summit is presented by Chase. Major sponsors include: JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Southeast Toyota Distributors, Nova Southeastern University, WSVN Channel 7 News, Memorial Healthcare System, and Wells Fargo. The event is produced by Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc. (HUF)( ).

This year's keynote speaker, Jim Ryan, Founder and CEO of OutPLEX and Co-Founder of The Venture Mentoring Team will share his insights on being a serial entrepreneur and how to identify a great business mentor. The American Dreamer Awards & Panel Conversation, sponsored by JM Family Enterprises/Southeast Toyota Distributors, will be moderated by renowned journalist Tom Hudson of WRLN. This year's program includes six workshops, with two in Spanish.

The American Dreamer Award recipients are individuals recognized for their steadfast success, business acumen and community service.

The 2019 honorees include:

* Dr. Julia Harper, TheraPeeds Family Center
* Leni Ibargüengoytia, ForSisters
* Juliana Martinez & Efrain Martinez, EM Professional Services
* Gloria Martinez & Edmerson Vasquez, Neo Broadband, Inc.
* Maxeme "Max" Tuchman, Caribu, Inc.

Learn more about the speakers, moderator and honoree at

"Launching a new business or running a small business comes with many challenges," said Josie Bacallao, Hispanic Unity of Florida's President and CEO. "We are excited that we can bring together entrepreneurs and business professionals to collaborate, network, inspire and learn from each other. We have another exciting Summit this year, and a great lineup of speakers. The Entrepreneur Summit is the perfect opportunity to not only gain valuable information, but to make connections and develop your small business network with like-minded professionals."

Pricing: Complimentary sponsored admission (FREE).

Parking: Complimentary. Located in the garage directly across from NSU's Business School and the Carl DeSantis Building.

For general information:

For sponsorship information: Shani Wilson, Development Director, at 954-342-0430 or

The 2019 Entrepreneur Summit is made possible by our sponsors (as of August 2019): Chase, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC, Nova Southeastern University, Memorial Healthcare System, Wells Fargo, WSVN; as well as, Amerant, BankUnited, BBB of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, BB&T, Comerica Bank, FPL, MBAF CPAs and Advisors, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk, Synovus, Templeton & Company, TIAA Bank, and Woodforest National Bank.

About Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF):

Hispanic Unity of Florida (HUF) is a non-profit founded 37 years ago by community leaders to ease the acculturation transition for newcomers from other nations. Today, HUF provides assistance through 12 programs and 30+ services in four languages to South Florida's diverse community. HUF, an UnidosUS Affiliate, is one of South Florida's largest agencies dedicated to the immigrant population, providing them with the tools they need to build a new life.

In 2018, the agency served more than 15,000 children and families. HUF offers assistance at four main office locations and provides extended services at 50+ outreach locations-including citizenship services at libraries, free tax preparation at mobile sites, and education services at public schools, among others.

Mission: Empowering immigrants and others to become self-sufficient, productive and civically engaged. For more information visit: or call 954-964-8884, ext. 216.

Media Contact:
Kathy Gallego
Marketing Director
Hispanic Unity of Florida
954-342-0404 (direct)
954-329-5262 (cell)

Distributed by:
DreamCatcher Marketing & Productions

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Exploring Black and Afro-Latinx female identity with RESPECT: gallery exhibition, workshops, and discussions

BRONX, N.Y. -- The Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education is delighted to announce the opening of "RESPECT," an exhibition celebrating Black and Afro-Latinx womanhood. The art gallery exhibition and related public programs comprise the Fall season of "CelebrARTE," Casita Maria's arts and culture event series celebrating the South Bronx community and the art it has inspired.

"RESPECT" is a multimedia exhibition that features New York-based artists Timothy Okamura, Jessica Spence, and Nichole Washington. Like much of the art displayed at Casita Maria, the exhibition examines a belief about or within the community -- here, that beauty diminishes as skin tones become darker or hair becomes kinkier -- and turns it on its head, with powerful depictions of Black women respecting themselves and loving each other.

Each artist celebrates Black womanhood in their signature style. Okamura combines his 'realist' paintings of figures with details rendered in collage, spray paint and mixed media. The exhibition will include work he created from photographs of four Casita Maria after-school program participants as well as giclee prints from his Begin Transmission and Urban Portraits series.

Jessica Spence's acrylic paintings examine Black womanhood and societal beauty ideals, focusing on the beauty and versatility of Black hair. She will also participate in a panel discussion on the politics of hair and teach a workshop on her collage methods on Saturday, September 21.

Nichole Washington's bold and imaginative works explore feminine strength, identity, and spirituality through both photography and paint. Her strong use of design, layered with symbols and expressive brush strokes, creates a multidimensional space that allows room for nuance. For anyone interested in how she creates her engaging visuals, Ms. Washington will teach a workshop on symbol-making on Saturday, October 5.

Through CelebrARTE and other public programs, Casita Maria has become a premier location for the arts and culture of the South Bronx. Creative Arts Director Gail Heidel says, "Casita Maria is a safe, welcoming space that celebrates cultural pride and honors the communities we serve by creating a resilient ecosystem of self-expression, creativity and education. Seeing themselves and their families reflected in the art we present, neighborhood youth build self-esteem and pride in themselves and their communities. Our programming and the artists we showcase are a testament to the transformative power of the arts."

Fall 2019 season of the CelebrARTE (Celebrate Yourself) series
On view at the Casita Maria Gallery September 3 - November 15, 2019

Free and open to the public
Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

* Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk: Thursday, September 19, 5:30 - 8 PM
* Panel Discussion: The Politics of Hair: Self-Love, Self-Care and Understanding, Saturday, September 21, 1-3 p.m., Moderator: Lori Tharps, Panelists Sulma Arzu-Brown, Isidra Sabio Jessica Spence, Natasha Tarpley
* Workshop: ExpresARTE/Express Yourself Through Collage, September 21, 3:30-5 PM, Artist: Jessica Spence, Workshop: ExpresARTE/Express Yourself Through Symbol Making, Saturday, October 5, 10-11:30 a.m., Artist: Nichole Washington

Book Club: One Book One Bronx. Wednesday evenings 6:30-8 PM, beginning September 11

Featured books will include: "Girl in the Mirror: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion," by Natasha Tarpley, and "Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America" by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps.

Learn More:

The exhibition and public programs are made possible by support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages.

*IMAGE link for media:
*Image caption: "Sore Arms" by Jessica Spence.

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Cuban Art Show in South Bronx Gallery – We Have Ire: Afro-Cuban in the United States

BRONX, N.Y. -- Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education in partnership with Pregones Theater are proud to present "We Have Ire: Afro-Cuban in the United States." This exhibition and multi-disciplinary theater project will be produced by Cuban-American writer, performer, Doris Duke Artist and San Francisco resident Paul S. Flores, with collaborating Puerto Rican filmmaker and photographer Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi. "We Have Ire" documents the stories of four Cuban artists, focusing on their influences and dreams.

The exhibition will be on view in the Casita Maria Gallery from December 13, 2018 to March 9, 2019. To kick it off, please join us for a Celebration and Artist Talk on December 13 from 5-8 p.m.

Our audience can also see a live performance of excerpts of the We Have Ire theater project on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 2 - 2:45 p.m., in combination with a Family Storytelling Workshop from 11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Throughout the "We Have Ire exhibition," a companion exhibition of paintings created by Casita Maria Summer Campers, entitled "REACH!," will hang in The Young Artist Gallery. The young artists used imagery of astronauts exploring the cosmos as a powerful metaphor that there is no limit to success-- we can all reach for the stars and beyond!

All events are free and open to all ages.

"The Casita Maria Gallery is a powerful teaching tool and welcoming space of cultural celebration for the Young Artists of Casita Maria, their parents and caregivers, and the community. Through 'We Have Ire' we are thrilled to share Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American stories through so many artistic disciplines," said Gail Heidel, Director of Creative Arts Programs, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education.

Casita Maria Gallery, 928 Simpson St, 6 fl.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., (718) 589-2230

Artist Bios:

Paul S. Flores' deep dive into themes of transnationality and citizenship comes at a crucial time in contemporary history. Flores creates plays and oral narratives that spur and support societal movements that lead to change. Flores's last play "On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto" brought together San Francisco communities that had been divided by gentrification and police violence. Flores' ability to paint a vivid picture of bi-cultural Latino experience is shaped by his personal background and experience growing up near the Mexican border. He began presenting spoken word as a founding member of Youth Speaks and Los Delicados in 1996.

He performed for the first time in Cuba in 2001 while working at La Peña Cultural Center, and has since presented multiple times in Havana, Mexico and El Salvador. His comprehensive body of work touches on the immigrant story in all its complexities: from the violent-forced migration, gang life, war, incarceration and separated families-to zooming in on intergenerational relationships and the struggle of preserving important cultural values. Paul Flores's newest play "Pilgrim Street" premieres September 13-16, 2018 at Z Space Theater in San Francisco. His next play, "We Have Ire," about Afro-Cuban traditions, immigration and artists in the United States, premieres in 2019. He is an adjunct professor of theater at the University of San Francisco.

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is a graduate of UC Berkeley and received his MA degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Eli is an award-winning filmmaker and currently directs FistUp TV, a production company that documents people's stories from around the world as a way to expand community awareness around issues of social responsibility and cultural identity. His work has circulated through the National Broadcast: Free Speech TV, Teaching Channel and PBS. He is the co-founder of Defend Puerto Rico, a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Eli is curating his ninth Annual Fist Up Film Festival in the Bay Area, California. His dedication to his craft is deeply connected to his commitment to social justice and the belief in the transformative power of film.

About Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education:

CASITA MARIA CENTER FOR ARTS & EDUCATION is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages. Learn more at:

About Pregones Theater:

Following years of enterprising activity on stage and in the community, Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater recently merged into a single Latino arts organization with performance venues in The Bronx and Manhattan. The transformation builds upon congruence of mission, values, and programs, and sustained engagement of a growing network of diverse artists and audiences throughout and beyond New York City. Moving forward, Pregones/PRTT champions a cultural legacy of broad impact through (1) creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and (2) presentation of other artists who share our twin commitment to the arts and civic enrichment.

Supported by: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and NYC Department of Youth and Community Development

Learn more about upcoming events at:

Follow on social media at: @casitamariabx

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It’s a Femme-inist Future for the South Bronx!

BRONX, N.Y. -- Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education is proud to present Teen Leadership Summit: The Future is Femme-inist! The Future is NOW! Young women and femmes of color are leading the way as community culture workers. They are artists, activists, healers, and leaders. The Future is Femme-inist is a one-day Teen Summit celebrating young women and femmes of color across New York City, led by the SmART Leaders program at Casita Maria.

Join us Saturday, December 1, 2018, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education
928 Simpson St.
Bronx, NY 10459

The summit will provide a social justice oriented space and honor solidarity amongst and across all communities. If you identify as a young woman of color between the ages of 12-18, we invite you to register today and join us as we celebrate fierce sisterhood, participate in powerful workshops, and enjoy performances, singing, and dancing.

Keynote speech by Naiomy Guerrero and a live performance by Lah Tere!

FREE: Event, Workshops, SWAG and Food!

"The Future is Femme-inist Teen Summit encourages and develops our young people's sense of community, solidarity, and helps them understand their empowered place in the world," said Shakti Castro, Associate Director of Education Programs.

"The Summit gives our community the opportunity to witness the agency, creativity, and power our participants have," said Irisdelia Garcia, SmART Leaders Program Assistant.


SmART Leaders is a year-long program for high-school aged young people who identify as young women of color. We are dedicated to building positive self-esteem and sisterhood among young women and non-binary femmes, specifically focusing on rediscovering our identities and social justice education through art-centered classes and workshops!

Whether you are interested in painting, photography, dance, music, or other art-based activities we provide you with a safe space to discuss topics that you are interested in learning about through artistic conversations and activities. SmART Leaders is dedicated to supporting you as you explore your power, raise your voice, increase your confidence, and grow your activism!

Supported by The New York Women's Foundation and Department of Youth and Community Development.

Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages.

Art by Sharon Lee De La Cruz
Graphic Design by Sarah Bernero

Register Today:

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South Bronx Gallery Exhibits Solo Show of Mexico City Artist Jorge Tellaeche

BRONX, N.Y. -- Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education, in partnership with The Consulate General of Mexico in New York, are proud to present "Forgotten" by Mexico City-based artist Jorge Tellaeche, on view September 13 - November 21, 2018.

Join us for a Celebration and Artist Talk on September 13 from 5-8 p.m. at the Casita Maria Gallery. The exhibition will include a collection of colorful small acrylic paintings on canvas, wooden sculpture, and an installation filled with organic forms that become totems, characters and alebrijes (mystical Mexican creatures) that reference pop culture and world social issues.

A companion exhibition of artwork created by Casita Maria Summer Campers titled, "Celebration of Nations" will hang in The Young Artist Gallery.

To learn more about Tellaeche's ideas and artistic process we invite young people aged 8-20 to Casita Maria on Saturday, September 15, 2015 from 10-11:30 a.m. for a free workshop titled EQUIPO, (Team in Spanish), where they will create their own alebrije.

This workshop is designed to empower young people through art making - reminding them they are unique and have the power to create.

The workshop is divided into four parts:
* Consciousness and Sharing
* Music and Individuality
* Decision Making
* Creativity and Problem Solving.

Through the exhibition and the workshop the artist will be exploring how as a people we have forgotten the importance of worth in our word and honor. Tellaeche feels that "becoming complacent with the times we have turned into a society of broken promises. In a time of apathetic fake news that pushes us to not care, we forget we are humans with rights and that we need each other. This show talks about the desire to reach abundance in love and apathy, remembering where we all come from."

"I can attest to Mexican artist Jorge Tellaeche´s creativity, talent and commitment to empower youth through art," said Diego Gomez Pickering, Consul General of Mexico in New York. "Therefore, it is an honor for the Consulate General of Mexico in New York to collaborate with Casita María Center for Arts & Education to present the exhibit "Forgotten" inviting us to reflect on who we truly are."

"We are all brought to this world to share our uniqueness," says Jorge Tellaeche. "Together as a community we are strong because in our diversity we create a rich picture full of colors and wonder. This collection of pieces are made to balance the conflicting times that we are living in where it seems ok to hate and oppress. It shows faces of different cultural backgrounds, even some made up (magical) to show that we are all the same. Also in this Utopia there are some creatures that in Mexico we call 'alebrijes,' they are a mixture of different animals that are meant to protect us and teach us about teamwork and consciousness."

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About the Artist:
Jorge Tellaeche is a Mexico City-based artist whose work is honest and intimate. It touches on themes that are relevant to his surroundings, to evoke dialog and self-confrontation. His visual language includes painting, sculpture and murals. His murals have been commissioned by the likes of the Residence of the Ambassador in London, La Lomita in Valle de Guadalupe, and CUNY University in NY, as well as international brands like Adidas, W Hotel, and most recently, Lululemon.

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About Casita Maria;
Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages. Learn more at:

About The Consulate General:
The Consulate General of Mexico in New York is the official representation of Mexico in the tri-state area. Its purpose is to protect, defend the rights and interests of, and seek the integration and empowerment of Mexican nationals living in the area. It provides various services such as: documentation (passports, consular ID's, birth certificates, dual nationality, marriage certificates, wills), protection for Mexican nationals, financial education. Information:

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